Motorola Edge 2022
In most of the world, buying phones subsidized isn’t a thing. You walk into a store, spot the phone you want, and pick it up for the retail price or via monthly installations offered by partnering banks (or the manufacturer itself). In North America, the situation is quite different, as carriers tend to offer devices at prices that completely change the buying dynamic. The Motorola Edge 2022 is such a device.
With a retail price of $600, the device is a sensitive follow-up to last year’s $700 Edge 2021, coming with a few upgrades that make it a better offering. And in this article, we’ll detail our initial thoughts on this phone from the limited time we spent with it at a Moto event.
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The Edge 2022 comes with an all-plastic build — bar the display, of course — and in a single gray colorway. While its sleek, thin, and light design immediately made it into our list of pros, we wish the device traded off some of this weight advantage for an aluminum mid-frame or perhaps a more premium-feeling glass back. Regardless of its looks, the ergonomics of this device are excellent. There’s a subtle curve to the back, which makes it feel thinner and easier to grip. The device is also smaller than the previous generation, which adds to its handiness.
Looking at the back panel, you will see a triple-camera setup on an island that looks similar to other Moto devices launched in the last couple of years, as well as a simple Motorola logo. The volume rocker and power button are on the right edge, while the left remains clear of any features. Along the bottom, you’ll find the standard setup for most phones — speaker grille, microphone, USB Type-C port, and SIM tray (no microSD). The top is home to a secondary mic only, but if you check the front of the device, you’ll notice a significant change.
The display used on the Edge 2022 is a flat 6.6-inch FHD+ 144Hz 10-bit OLED panel with support for the DCI-P3 color space. That’s a lot, right? But let us tell you, it’s a beautiful display. Moto has consistently done well with its choice of panels, and the Edge 2022 is no exception. Since it’s OLED this year, there’s an under-display optical fingerprint scanner and a smaller chin along the bottom edge. While decent, the 6.8-inch LCD last year did have a chunky bottom bezel.
Overall, this device looks and feels pleasant, and the hardware combines with the software (My UX, based on Android 12) to boost the user experience.
Motorola says the Edge 2022 will receive three Android version updates and security patches for four years via bi-monthly patches.
With the Edge 2022, Moto delivers solid camera hardware — at least on paper. The primary shooter is a 50 MP sensor with an f/1.8 lens that supports optical image stabilization and has phase-detection autofocus. The secondary camera is a 13 MP ultrawide with a 120-degree field of view and autofocus. The AF on this lens allows Moto to offer a macro mode for you to experiment with. Rounding up this camera array is a somewhat redundant 2MP depth sensor.
In our opinion, the depth sensor should really be a telephoto camera, mainly because this device’s $600 retail price puts it in the premium mid-range category.
As for camera performance, in the past couple years, Motorola has consistently offered decent camera specs. Still, it doesn’t have an excellent track record with the photos produced from its devices, so the verdict is still out with the Edge 2022.
processor and battery
When it comes to performance, the Edge 2022 packs a Dimension 1050, MediaTek’s first SoC to support mmWave 5G. In the limited time we spent with the device, day-to-day performance seems to be pretty solid. Benchmark results is something we’ll have to leave for later, but the Edge lineup hasn’t disappointed so far, and we expect this model to fare just as well.
Endurance is also bound to be one of this phone’s strengths as it ships with a 5000 mAh battery. And for those of you who care (you know who you are), this device also features wireless charging. On the wired front, there’s support for 30W charging. Unfortunately, the Edge 2022 doesn’t ship with a charger in the box.
pricing and availability
According to Moto, this phone will go on sale “in the coming weeks” on T-Mobile for $498 (6/128GB), and you’ll be able to pick it up for free when adding a new line. Following this, it will steadily become available on AT&T, Verizon (with mmWave 5G support), US Cellular, and other carriers.
You will also be able to buy an unlocked version of the Edge 2022 (8/256GB) on Amazon, Best Buy, and Motorola’s website for $500, which is a promotional price, after which it will return to its standard price of $600.
Keep in mind that only units bought from Verizon can make use of mmWave 5G. Other models will be limited to sub-6GHz 5G. mmWave support will be unavailable if you buy it unlocked and use a Verizon SIM.
The Motorola Edge 2022 is a decent phone but is only really competitive if purchased at a discounted price or through a carrier deal. Otherwise, it’s outdone by cheaper competition in terms of value and specs.
At $600, it close in price to the excellent OnePlus 10T, which is arguably the better phone because it sports a flagship SoC — the TSMC-based Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 — and features an eye-catching glass back. Add headline-grabbing features like 150W fast charging, and you have a phone capturing eyeballs and possibly sales. And when looking at cheaper alternatives, the Google Pixel 6a is a better device overall because at $450, it offers quick access to the latest Android 13 bells and whistles, and delivers a significantly better camera than almost all of its competition.
But when you consider the Edge 2022’s “special launch price” of $500 for the unlocked version, the device becomes a better value proposition. The 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage are nice to have, and the quality 144Hz display is a key-selling point.
What are your thoughts on the Edge 2022? Do you think it’s a device you would consider at full retail price, or will carrier deals make you get the phone? Let us know with in the comment below.